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Study with us | Adding to your degree

Study with us | Adding to your degree

by Katherine Hanrahan

Your university experience isn’t just about studying for a degree, it’s also your chance to develop valuable employability skills, broaden your horizons and gain real-world experience that could help you lay the foundations for your future career.

In this ‘Study with us’ blog, we’ve taken a look at how you could add to your degree with us, and the skills you could develop to showcase on your CV. 

Work placements

Study abroad

Work experience

Ncl+ Award

Work placements 

Customise your degree with a placement, spending nine to 12 months in the workplace. 

Almost all our degrees are available with the option to complete a work placementextending your degree by up to a year. 

Work placements give you the opportunity to develop skills sought-after by employers, explore your career options and make professional connections. You could also secure a reference that could help wheapplying for a job. 

You can find out more about the kind oplacements available – including virtual opportunities – as well as how to get the most out of a placement in our guide to student work placements in 2021.


Study abroad 

Expand your world by studying abroad, experiencing different cultures, growing in confidence, and learning skills prized by employers. 

Our study abroad programme includes opportunities that last from a single semester up to a full year, with destinations ranging from Europe and the Americas, to Asia and Australasia. 

Currently, both our work placement opportunities and study abroad programme are affected by Covid-19 restrictions.  

At the moment, only University approved work placements in the UK are going ahead, and we're busy reviewing our study abroad programme. For further information, see our Covid-19 FAQs 


Work experience 

You can gain work experience to showcase on your CV in a variety of ways. Some of the opportunities listed below will be limited, or may be online, because of the Covid-19 pandemic


Internships.  As with a work placement, an internship can help you: 

  • gain hands-on experience  
  • develop industry knowledge 
  • decide where your future career interests lie 
  • gain an insight into UK business culture 
  • make contacts within the sector 
  • gain positive feedback and references  

Internships are shorter in length than a work placement and usually take place over the summer vacation. 


Work shadowing. Experience a ‘day in the life’ of a member of staff in their workplace and get a better understanding of different graduate roles.  

Work shadowing can also give you a taste of what you could expect if you decide to complete an internship or placement year. 


Insight days. Find out what it’s like to work for a particular organisation during a Career Insight Day. You’ll learn about the structure and culture of the organisation, as well as different opportunities and roles.  


Volunteering. As a volunteer you’ll not only be helping others, you’ll be helping yourself, too, developing employability skills and gaining practical work experience. 

Some careers are difficult to get into without previous volunteer experience, so this is your chance to work in a field you’re interested in and make valuable contacts. 


Virtual opportunities. Covid-19 has changed the way many people work and there are now increasing opportunities to work, gain experience, or improve your skill set remotely. 

Virtual opportunities include virtual internships and volunteering roles, starting your own virtual venture, or trying out new subject areas and developing skills through a host of online courses. 


Part-time work. You’ll not only earn some extra money with a part-time job, but find a job related to your degree course and you’ll gain valuable sector experience, too. Part-time work is also flexible and can fit around your studies.   

Although there are currently fewer opportunities for work in the city because of Covid-19, there are opportunities to work on campus for internal departments through our Jobs on Campus (JobsOC) scheme, with most assignments at the moment involving remote working. 

Other opportunities on campus include: 

  • roles with our Careers Service 
  • working as a Student Ambassador supporting a wide range of recruitment and aspiration-raising activities for young people 
  • delivering STEM workshops to schools and colleges as a Street Scientist, science busking at events and festivals 
  • becoming a FutureMe mentor, working to inspire young people in the North East to consider higher education

Ncl+ Award 

Demonstrate to employers the skills you've gained from extra-curricular activities through our Ncl+ Award. 

You’ll complete 35 hours of extra-curricular activityand then reflect on your experience, submitting answers to competency-based questions that will demonstrate what you’ve gained. 

Activities can include almost everything you do outside of your degree, including: part-time jobs; volunteering; club and society roles; student representation; entrepreneurial activities; and team sports. 

We hope this blog has given you a flavour of the opportunities you could access to enrich your degree experience at Newcastle and gain skills to help prepare you for the world of work. For more information about how we can support you and your career goals, explore the services offered by our award-winning Careers Service. 

To find out more about what it’s like to study with us, read the other blog in our series: Study with us | A guide to our facilities.